Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

California Labor Federation Stands with Sen. Elizabeth Warren in Demanding Uber, Instacart and Other Gig Companies Reclassify Workers as Employees

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

April 1, 2020 
California Labor Federation 
Contact: Steve Smith 510-326-4644 

California Labor Federation Stands with Sen. Elizabeth Warren in Demanding Uber, Instacart and Other Gig Companies Reclassify Workers as Employees 

Warren tells CEOs, “You have a responsibility to protect [workers’] health and the public’s health” during the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Oakland, CA — Today the California Labor Federation commended Sen. Elizabeth Warren for joining with workers in demanding Uber, Instacart, Doordash and Grubhub “provide front line delivery workers with the basic rights and protections they would be guaranteed if you classified them as employees rather than independent contractors, including paid sick leave, minimum wages, and essential health and safety precautions.”  She went on to write, “because these workers perform essential delivery work and are critical to serving customers who cannot leave home during the pandemic, you have a responsibility to protect their health and the public’s health.”

“Senator Warren’s demand underscores the staggering economic and human cost of leaving countless drivers with no access to basic worker protections or a social safety net,” said Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the California Labor Federation. “Billion-dollar corporations like Uber and Lyft have a moral responsibility to dissolve the $110 million political war chest they’ve amassed to obliterate worker protections, and instead put their millions into making sure working people can get the support they need to weather this crisis.”

In Warren’s letter to company CEOs, reported in Vice today, she warns: “Your company’s misclassification of your workers as independent contractors rather than employees creates inherent risk for workers, who are denied access to unemployment insurance and workers compensation, a minimum wage and overtime, health care benefits, the right to be represented by a union, and the legal protections of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.” She continued, “The impact your misclassification has on workers, and the precarious circumstances it puts them in, is amplified by this pandemic.”

Warren went on to cite California’s AB 5 as a crucial protection for workers “exploited by employer misclassification.” 

Warren’s letter comes after labor unions and gig workers have clearly demanded essential worker rights and protections as workers have become first responders to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Monday’s Instacart and Amazon walkouts the latest public action.  To support these workers, The California Labor Federation demands: 

  • Gig companies comply with the law. Courts, the legislature and the governor have made it clear that gig company drivers and shoppers are employees. Yet, these billion-dollar companies continue to flout the law, denying basic protections including paid sick days, a minimum wage and adequate safety equipment to gig workers. They need to follow the law or face the consequences of breaking it. Further, these companies must immediately drop their harmful ballot measures that seeks to deny basic protections to their own workers and lower standards for all workers. 
  • Gig companies immediately establish a $100 million dollar relief fund to provide drivers in need with resources to help them pay rent, buy groceries and keep the lights on in their homes. Netflix and other firms have contributed hundreds of millions to relief funds yet Uber, Lyft and other gig companies refuse to provide any relief even to their own drivers. The companies have that much sitting in a PAC now. They must drain that account to provide direct relief to drivers.
  • Uber, Lyft and other gig companies stop denying drivers unemployment insurance claims and immediately start contributing to the state’s severely stressed UI fund that’s been overwhelmed with 1.5 million new claims. The gig companies haven’t contributed a dime to UI for drivers and shoppers, even though they are required to do so by law, putting the fund’s solvency for all workers at grave risk.


SF Public Service Workers Coalition Urges City Leaders to Invest $415 Million Revenue to Address Income Inequality

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

For Immediate Release: November 30, 2018
Contact person: Rudy Gonzalez, (415) 794-0377

San Francisco Public Service Workers Coalition Urges City Leaders to Invest $415 Million Revenue to Address Income Inequality

San Francisco – In response to yesterday’s announcement that the City of San Francisco will be refunded at least $415 million in property tax revenue from the State of California, a coalition of unions representing 25,000 San Francisco city workers has released the following statement:

That our City will be recouping hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue is welcome news to every front-line professional who is working to deliver vital public services across our diverse community, and who are equally committed to building a stronger San Francisco for future generations. In addition to funding the urgent work of combating homelessness, we are urging city leaders to invest a portion of this revenue source to make a down payment on both the public services and workforce our community will need to meet the long-term challenges facing our city, to address rising income inequality, and to create a more affordable and resilient San Francisco for all.

“Over the coming weeks, we look forward to working with both Mayor Breed and the Board of Supervisors to ensure these funds are appropriated in a manner that reflects both the values of the community we serve, and aspirations of the hard working families we represent”, said Rudy Gonzalez, Executive Director of the San Francisco Labor Council.



Statement from Executive Director Tim Paulson on the Passing of Mayor Ed Lee

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

For Immediate Release                                            Contact:
December 12, 2017                                                     Tim Paulson, (415) 716-6383


 The San Francisco Labor Council is saddened by the sudden passing of Mayor Ed Lee.

Mayor Lee served San Francisco during some of the most volatile economic times in the city’s history. He came to office during the longest economic disaster in three generations and helped steer the city’s fortunes to arguably the largest concentration of wealth that we are experiencing today. Mayor Lee, like many of us in the labor movement, were (and are) challenged by how this booming business environment affects working men and women. The housing, immigration, and wage stagnation crises were fully placed on his agenda and are still part of the struggle for equality in San Francisco, as well as the entire United States.

As a former civil rights lawyer, Mayor Ed Lee fought against worksite raids and deportations of undocumented workers and we are forever thankful for his jump-starting and funding of the San Francisco Labor Council’s Immigration Center, We Rise SF. Our Immigration Center now has more staff and a cadre of immigration lawyers to navigate the citizenship process for hundreds of union workers and their families.

San Francisco passed the highest minimum wage of any city in the US and this was accomplished in Room 200 at City Hall with Mayor Lee and his staff.

We will miss Ed Lee’s quiet approach as he opened doors for nationally recognized apprenticeship programs and career pathway models that include violence prevention. The door was always open at Room 200. I have known Mayor Ed Lee to be the ultimate dedicated public servant. I first met him over 20 years ago when he served in Willie Brown’s administration as the city’s purchaser, and though we have had tough negotiations on many issues over the years I always knew that he cared tremendously for all the people of San Francisco.

On this sad day the Labor Council sends condolences to the Mayor’s family and the many dedicated staff of his administration.

Judge Orders Hugo Mejía Released on Bond: #FreeHugo Campaign Brings Labor, Faith, and Community Together

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

For immediate release: Nov 21, 2017
Contact: Jon Rodney, 510-207-9520

Judge orders Hugo Mejía released on bond: #FreeHugo campaign has brought labor, faith, and community together

San Francisco — This morning, before a courtroom packed with supporters, an immigration judge ordered the release of Hugo Mejía, a beloved Bay Area construction worker detained by ICE six months ago when he showed up to work on a construction project at Travis Air Force base.

Supporters are currently working to post Hugo’s bond and he may released as soon as today. He will continue to fight his deportation case with the support of his legal team and the community.

In response to this news, the following organizations –California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, Centro Legal de la Raza, The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), IUPAT District Council 16, California Immigrant Policy Center, SF Labor Council and Labor Center for Immigrant Justice/ WE RISE SF  – released the statement below:

This victory is due to the courage of Hugo and his family and the solidarity of supporters from coast to coast. We are overjoyed that Hugo, his wife, and their three children will be reunited in time for Thanksgiving.

We thank every person and every group who raised their voice for justice. Hugo is a beloved part of his family, his community, and his union, and his story reminds us that we are all in this together. The fight to free Hugo is part of a larger fight to build a better world for all.

We will continue to stand up to attacks on all immigrants – and all working people – for a simple reason: an injury to one is an injury to all.

Hugo lives in San Rafael with his wife, Yadira, and his three young children. His elder two children have been granted DACA, and his youngest is a U.S. citizen. He volunteers at his children’s school, Venetia Valley, which is connected to a local synagogue, Congregation Rodef Sholom.

Hugo’s detention caused widespread outcry among labor, faith, and community groups, with extensive organizing in his San Rafael community and protests held from Elk Grove to New York City. Members of Congress and state and local officials have urged ICE to free Hugo, and in an op-ed which ran in today’s San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Archbishop wrote that Hugo’s deportation case raised the question: what kind of society are we?


Statement from the San Francisco Labor Council Condemning Trump’s Rescinding of DACA

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

President Trump took another giant step towards the fracturing of our nation today. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the “rescinding” of DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals).

Congress has until March 5, 2018 to enact changes in the current immigration law to protect 820,000 current DACA recipients and the more than 11 million residents in the United States who currently suffer each day trying to survive in America without full legal status.

The San Francisco Labor Council, through our affiliate unions, our WE RISE SF/ Labor Center for Immigrant Justice, and all of our friends, families and allies who make up the majority of those in America, stand in firm opposition to this latest demonstration of calculated cruelty at the expense of our immigrant brothers and sisters.

We call for:

  • Fundamental Change in the Immigration System at All Levels!
  • A Moratorium on Deportations!
  • Full Protection for All DACA Recipients!
  • An End to the Scapegoating of Immigrant Communities!

The San Francisco Labor Movement will continue to fight this administration and stand with those who stand for equity and equality.

SF Labor Council Resistance Action on Saturday, 8/26 at Noon

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

White supremacists will be coming to our city on Saturday, August 26th. We must stand up and make clear hatred, racism and bigotry are not welcome in San Francisco.

As we expressed in our official statement, the recent events in Charlottesville call upon us all to speak out boldly against white supremacy, neo-Nazism, and white nationalism in all forms. Racism, anti-Semitism, hatred, and fear should have no home in America. Working people know that standing shoulder to shoulder together makes us stronger as a people and as a nation. The San Francisco Labor Council is committed to advancing racial justice, as doing so is fundamental to working people uniting to create better workplaces and a more inclusive economy.

On Saturday the Labor Council will be a part of the march from Harvey Milk Plaza to the Civic Center with other community organizations.  We understand other labor and community groups are taking part in other actions and we are embracing what folks are calling a “diversity of tactics” for Saturday actions. We must do all we can to keep ourselves and each other safe and active in the movement for a free and just world. What we cannot do is be “non-political” when white supremacists are in our midst.

The action is scheduled to start at Noon on Saturday at Harvey Milk Plaza, at the corner of Market and Castro in SF. We will keep you all updated as details on the rally and march from Harvey Milk Plaza are fleshed out and encourage our affiliate unions and members join the Labor Council in making our voices of resistance and opposition heard.


Tim Paulson
Executive Director

Statement of San Francisco Labor Council on the Charlottesville Events:

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Labor Stands with All Who Fight White Supremacy

August 14, 2017 – The recent events in Charlottesville call upon us all to speak out boldly against white supremacy, neo-Nazism, and white nationalism in all forms. Racism, anti-Semitism, hatred, and fear should have no home in America.

We grieve for the lives lost and pray for those critically injured because of the domestic terrorism committed in Charlottesville. The San Francisco Labor Council condemns hatred, bigotry, and violence against our friends and neighbors. Our hearts pour out to everyone in the Charlottesville community, and those watching around the country traumatized by witnessing such barbaric acts of racism.

We recognize the progress achieved as communities finally remove the white supremacist monuments that stain our country. When tearing down symbols of hate sparks such vitriolic backlash, the work to fully dismantle racism from our society is far from over. Our nation needs more healing, unifying, and transformation to live up to our values of respect, equality, diversity, and freedom.

Working people know that standing shoulder to shoulder together makes us stronger as a people and as a nation. The San Francisco Labor Council is committed to advancing racial justice, as doing so is fundamental to working people uniting to create better workplaces and a more inclusive economy.

Now more than ever, the labor movement is called upon to combat the violent and exclusionary systems of white nationalism and white supremacy smoldering in our communities and institutions. We demand a future full of love, equity, diversity, peace, safety, and opportunity. It is up to us to build the America that we and our future generations deserve.


This statement was adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council on August 14, 2017.
[Based on the statement issued August 14, 2017 by Jobs with Justice, Washington, D.C.]


Statement from San Francisco Labor Council on the Shootings at UPS Facility

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Statement from Secretary-Treasurer Olga Miranda, President of SEIU Local 87 and Executive Director Tim Paulson

San Francisco – On behalf of the 150 unions of the San Francisco Labor Council our hearts and prayers go out to the UPS workers, victims, and their families on the tragedy that occurred yesterday in San Francisco.

The UPS members have always had a strong voice at work by being members of Teamsters Locals 2785 and 856 and SEIU Janitors Local 87.

The fatalities include four Local 2785 members.

It is times like these that make us as a Labor Movement come together to stand with all of our brothers and sisters. We hope that when we call upon you we can all stand together. We expect UPS to cooperate in any way needed with our affiliates Teamsters Locals 2785 and 856 and SEIU Janitors Local 87.

We are still monitoring details of this tragedy. The Teamsters will be setting up a fund to help the families and we will keep all of you informed about how we can support these families in their loss.

Thank you for your concern and support.


Monday, April 20th, 2015

Press Release


CONTACT: Steve Smith (510) 326-4644

California Labor Urges Congress to Stand Up for Good Jobs, Reject Fast Track Legislation for Trade Agreements

Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski

“Democracy is dependent upon transparency and open, public debate. Yet, with today’s introduction of legislation that would put potentially devastating trade deals on the fast track to approval without proper congressional oversight or public input, Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Hatch (R-UT) are playing a dangerous game with livelihoods of working people across California and the country. Previous fast-tracked trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and normalizing trade relations with China have cost California 650,000 jobs. Not just any jobs, but good, family supporting jobs that sustain our state’s middle class.


“There’s currently no reason to believe the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement would be any different from previous trade deals that have ripped hundreds of thousands of California workers from the middle class. The TPP, a huge trade deal that covers 12 countries and 40 percent of the world’s GDP, is being negotiated secretly by former corporate lobbyists with little information available to the public about the impact on jobs and our economy. That’s unacceptable.


“Protecting middle-class jobs should be a top priority for every member of Congress. We simply can’t afford another bad trade deal that further erodes good jobs and exacerbates record income inequality. If the TPP really is different than previous deals like NAFTA that have led to enormous trade deficits and lost jobs, then there should be nothing to fear from a transparent, deliberate and open process. We strongly urge Senators Feinstein and Boxer and every member of Congress in California to reject fast track legislation that keeps the public in the dark on a trade deal that has the potential to undercut our middle class, raise drug prices for seniors, hinder innovation and allow for global corporations and other countries to game the system to America’s disadvantage.”


Labor Leader & Pioneer LGBT Activist Howard Wallace Passes Away

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

It is with great sadness that I let you know that labor leader and pioneer LGBT activist Howard Wallace has passed away. Howard’s long time friend and SEIU colleague Kathy Lipscomb informed me that he passed away today “free of pain and comfortable.”

Howard, as we all know, was active in healthcare organizing, the anti-war movement and civil rights battles his entire adult life. He was a mentor to many, an inspiration to all, and an agitator for justice forever. We will all miss Howard Wallace.

The Labor Council will announce memorial services when they are finalized, along with a more complete summary of his exemplary life, but we wanted all of you to be aware of the loss of our friend.

As Kathy Lipscomb stated in her email to me: “Howard Wallace – Presente!”

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